What is Toastmasters?
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs.
Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization has more than 313,000 members who belong to over 14,650 clubs in 126 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds build confidence as speakers and leaders.
Who can benefit from Toastmasters?
Toastmasters is the best way for anyone — whether a working professional, student, stay-at-home parent or retiree — to improve his or her communication and leadership skills. Members overcome the fear of public speaking and learn skills that aid them in becoming more successful. Toastmasters creates better listeners and stronger team members and leaders who can comfortably give and receive constructive evaluations.
How Toastmasters Works?
At Toastmasters, members learn by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment. A typical Toastmasters club is made up of 20 to 30 people who meet once a week for approximately an hour. Each meeting gives members several opportunities:
- Conduct meetings: Members learn how to plan and conduct meetings.
- Give impromptu speeches: Members present one to two minute, impromptu speeches about assigned topics.
- Present prepared speeches: Two or more members present speeches based on projects from manuals in Toastmasters’ proven communication and leadership programs. Projects cover topics such as speech organization, vocal variety, language, gestures and persuasion.
- Offer constructive evaluation: Every speaker is assigned an evaluator who points out speech strengths and offers suggestions for improvement.